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SAFC response to RAWA Questions




RAWA have received a response from SAFC  to some of the questions we published about the allocation of tickets to NUFC. It is reproduced in full below.


In response, whilst we welcome SAFC's commitment to future engagement with RAWA and other supporter groups, we remain disappointed that "what do our supporters think?" was not at the forefront of the Club's mind. Whilst we acknowledge the limited timescales available for consultation, the lack of engagement and communication during the process, along with the final outcome on location and allocation, has resulted in real anger from many supporters.


In the context of previously existing issues with the ticket office, replica shirt availability, issues around the location of away fans, and general customer service, this situation has for many confirmed a narrative that SAFC take their passionate support for granted. We hope that in future the Club can work with supporters in a meaningful way, via now overdue supporter collective meetings, to improve how SAFC interact with and service their loyal fanbase.


SAFC Response Begins


Sunderland AFC appreciates the points raised by the Red and White Army Supporters’ Trust

earlier this week and welcomes the opportunity to address any outstanding concerns felt

within our fan base.

As communicated last week, Emirates FA Cup rule 191 stipulates that the visiting Club has

the right to claim up to 15% of the tickets issued up to a maximum of 9,000.

This obligation can only be bypassed if the visiting Club accepts a lower allocation, or it is

deemed unsafe by the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG).

In this instance, Newcastle United recognised the unique challenges faced by all parties

relating to this fixture but still requested the ‘maximum allocation possible’.

SAFC considered all options to safely fulfil its competition obligations. A summary of the

considerations is given below.

To ensure the safety of all supporters in attendance and receive approval from the SAG, it

would not have been possible to house all visiting supporters in the North Stand Upper.

This would have resulted in home and away fans using the same entry points and it would

also not have been possible to conduct the enhanced search operation in place for all high-

risk fixtures due to the increased volume of attendees compared to a league match.

Moving away supporters to the Roker End (South Stand) was also dismissed and the

decision was therefore taken to proceed with the arrangements communicated last week,

which eliminates the requirement for enhanced searches and reduces the potential of fan

base interaction upon entry.

This option received subsequent approval from all parties, including NUFC who agreed to

reduce their allocation from 15% and facilitate the coach travel of all away ticket holders as

required by Northumbria Police.

We appreciate and understand this has resulted in immense disappointment for some of our

supporters, who are now required to move from seats they have held for many years.

Those impacted are guaranteed an alternative seat at the same price they would have paid

in the North Stand and their designated sales phase ensures they have a wider selection of

seats to choose from than if they entered in phase one.

The meeting minutes from the discussions held are also a matter of public record and as a

result, they will also be published by the SAG later.

We regret that due to the extremely limited timescale involved and processes outlined

above, combined with the focus on safety of those attending, consultation was not possible

on this occasion.

All at Sunderland AFC remain committed to working with our supporters and we continue to

appreciate the support of our dedicated Supporters’ Groups.


SAFC Response Ends





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6 Comments


When the Stadium first opened it was 42,000. It’s now 48,000 with the extended upper part from the North West to the North. That’s 6,000. Is the club blind or stupid ? There was no need to move the season ticket holders from their seats in the lower North Stand. There was no need to put them Bar Coded FUCKWITTS in the original North Stand. Minus the first 5 rows of seats in front of the North West and North Stand upper so them Cunts can’t spit at our supporters and a minus a few seats between the Premier Concorse and North West Upper so the bizzies and the stewards can keep us and them from kicking fuck out of…

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I want to know if our North Stand seats will be checked for potential damage before the next home game and any repairs found necessary carried out in advance. I don't want to be the one finding the damsge to my own seat on the night of the game.

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Home and away fans used almost the same entry points anyway! my turnstile entry (33/34) was blocked by the police as it was adjacent to the away fans. I was not allowed access until all of the away fans were in. I wanted to access at 11.15am when it opened but was not allowed to do so. At no point did the club communicated this and I was forced to hang around outside for some considerable time. Considering I had driven 4 hours to get there it was just another example of how poorly the club handled this. The entire administration of this game has been a national embarrassment.

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Kim Dowsey
Kim Dowsey
Dec 22, 2023

The meeting minutes from the discussions held are also a matter of public record and as a result, they will also be published by the SAG later.


WHY??? The risk assessment would be fantastic to see aswell if there even is one!!!

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Replying to

I too would like to see a completed risk assessment, however I’m convinced that should I have conducted the assessment i would have ended up with the same conclusion.

Essentially there isn’t a solution that would not involve relocating season ticket holders for the match. even limiting the away fans to 3000 in the current away area isn’t suitable.


The clubs approach of honouring the north stand ticket prices for season ticket holders is fair and reasonable.


The only real contentious issue is the use of the Black cats bar, but I can see why the home fans don’t have access, however allowing newcastle access is certainly worthy of challenge.

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Dawn O'Brien
Dawn O'Brien
Dec 22, 2023

Still miffed why they allowed part-season ticket holders to purchase tickets ahead of long term full season ticket holders who were displaced for this game.

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